The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow

⇒Featuring bookish heroines, enchanted doors and magic


Wow. Alix E. Harrow’s debut book has me absolutely awed. This book is almost a door itself, leading to a breathtaking world of stubborn heroines, words that fly from the page, and ten thousand different realities to explore.

Alix’s lyrical writing is Laini Taylor meets literature fiction. Her prose is lush, enchanting, immersive, lyrical. It’s bursting with mesmerising imagery and everlasting wonder. It’s ready to be the wings of your imagination, and help you soar past snowy clouds into a place where women turn into leopards, where tattoos tell the stories of our lives, where scavengers seek eagle feathers.

“Books can smell of cheap thrills or painstaking scholarship, of literary weight or unsolved mysteries. This one smelled unlike any book I’d ever held… It smelled like adventure itself had been harvested in the wild, distilled to a fine wine, and splashed across each page.”

The Ten Thousand Doors isn’t about action-packed battles or brutal fights. It’s about eternal stories, about books, about finding home. It’s about escapism – to be free, to find the place you belong, whether it’s through a blue door to a world that smells of salty sea air, or simply into a book, as you curl up on your bed. This book really is for the readers – the bookish ones, that read and dream of magic, of adventure, of love. I was just about convinced by the end of the book that these doors exist – and just as determined to find one myself.

“Words and their meanings have weight the world of matter, shaping and reshaping realities through a most ancient alchemy. Even my own writings—so damnably powerless—may have just enough power to reach the right person and tell the right truth, and change the nature of things.”

It was clear in this book how important stories are – not just a hobby, but a way of life. Alix weaves family, love, adventure and the journey to belonging into this book beautifully, and discusses important issues like being “coloured” in the early 20th century, classism and destruction of culture.

This debut just swept in and made my life a thousand worlds better – the characters, the friendships, everything about the way this book was told – is beautiful.

I’m not equipped with the words to properly review The Ten Thousand Doors of January, so I hope you’ll forgive me that this one is shorter than most I write and let me leave you with the fact that you need to read this book.

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